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What is Petroleum?

What is it and how is it made?

Petroleum naturally occurs beneath the surface of the earth. It is a yellow to black liquid that is collected through oil drilling in order to be refined into fuel. When intense pressure and heat is applied to large quantities of dead organisms buried beneath sedimentary rock, petroleum is formed as a result. Since it is derived from ancient, fossilized organisms such as algae and zoolplankton, petroleum is considered a fossil fuel.


What is it used for?

Petroleum is most commonly associated with the production of gasoline but it is also involved in the production of other consumer goods such as kerosene, asphalt, fertilizers, solvents, pesticides, plastics, and even some pharmaceuticals.


Which countries use and produce the most petroleum?

Every day, the world consumes an estimated 90 million barrels of petroleum! The top 10 consumers in the world from greatest to least are: United States, China, Japan, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Germany, Canada, and South Korea. The top producing countries include Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States, respectively.